GLOBAL hotel group Marriott International, has announced further expansion plans in Africa with seven new hotel signings. Marriott International was the first global chain to make a significant investment in Africa with the acquisition of Protea Hotels for $210 million in 2014.
The company is targeting over 200 hotels with 37,000 rooms open or in the pipeline by 2022, equating to around $8.5bn of capital investment by its real estate partners, reinforcing its continued commitment to expansion in Africa and solidifying its leadership on the continent. The investment is expected to generate substantial economic activity and around 50,000 direct and indirect jobs once the hotels open.
‘Africa today makes a very compelling story. We are seeing unprecedented traction for our compelling brands, driving our momentum of growth,’ says Alex Kyriakidis, Marriott’s President and Managing Director for Middle East and Africa. ‘We have always believed in the potential of Africa and the opportunities the continent has to offer. With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanisation, the demand for travel and high quality lodging is growing, providing us with a significant opportunity to enhance our footprint and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent,’ he adds.
Currently Marriott International hotels are present in 20 African countries: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
The company is expected to foray into new markets including Benin, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal, and has signed 1,300 new rooms marking the debut of Marriott International into Cote d’Ivoire while strengthening its presence in existing markets including Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.
Abidjan Marriott Hotel, Cote d’Ivoire
Within walking distance from the Presidential Palace, the 200 room Abidjan Marriott Hotel is strategically located in the heart of Plateau, the central business district and the commercial, financial and administrative centre of Abidjan. Owned by Ivory Coast Investissement, the hotel is slated to open in 2021 and will be part of a mixed-use development that will include a conference centre, offices, retail and a national library.
Sheraton Abidjan and Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Slated to open in 2022, both Sheraton Abidjan and Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan will also be part of a mixed-use development which will include a convention centre, a marina, a shopping centre and an office building. The 259 room Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan will be a conversion of an existing hotel, which will be rebranded following extensive refurbishment, while the 300 room Sheraton Abidjan will be a new build property. Owned by the Societe Des Lagunes, the hotels will be set on the waterfront in the affluent neighbourhood of Cocody, an upmarket residential commune that also houses the embassy district.
With the country being celebrated as one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, and re-emerging as the gateway to Francophone Africa, the new hotels in the capital city of Abidjan are ideally placed for a long and thriving future.
Renaissance Landmark Lagos Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Owned and developed by Landmark Africa Group, Marriott International will manage the 216 room Renaissance Landmark Lagos Hotel, as well as a 44-room Marriott Executive Apartments. Slated to open in 2020, the hotels will be located within the Landmark Village precinct, a premier mixed-use, business, leisure and lifestyle development along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Victoria Island, the central business district of Lagos. The 25-floor hotel will offer a wide range of amenities, including local and international restaurants, spa facilities, a fitness centre, and an infinity pool with access to a 100-meter-long boardwalk overlooking a vibrant beach club offering exciting watersports.
Speaking on the increased interest in mixed-use development projects, Kyriakidis said, ‘As cities evolve and grow into flourishing urban centres, we will continue to see a lot of activity in this space. An international hotel brand can bring cachet to a project that positions it significantly above its peers and differentiates it from its competitors. Our compelling brands spanning every segment from Luxury to Premium to Select to Extended Stay, lend themselves to grow in all markets, city and resort as well as standalone and mixed-use formats, providing developers the flexibility and choice to identify the right brand for the right location.’
Le Meridien Accra, Ghana
The 160 room Le Meridien Accra, owned by 4-Mac Limited is strategically located close to the international airport, within the prestigious Airport Residential Area of Accra. It will provide easy access to key commercial, diplomatic and government nodes as well as to major city attractions. Scheduled to open in 2021, the hotel marks the debut of Le Meridien brand into Ghana.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Projected to open in 2021, the 165 room Protea Hotel by Marriott Addis Ababa, located on Churchill Avenue will mark the debut of the brand into Ethiopia. The hotel will offer a specialty restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge and meeting facilities as well as a fitness centre and spa.
Earlier this year, Marriott International had announced the debut of The Ritz-Carlton brand in the exotic Zanzibar Archipelago with the signing of The Ritz-Carlton Zanzibar, the 90 room all suite and villa luxury resort as well as the debut of Aloft into Mauritius with the signing of Aloft Port Louis, the brand’s first adaptive reuse project in Africa.
Commenting on the extraordinary pace of hotel signings and openings this year, Kyriakidis said the ‘Signings and openings form the cornerstone of our aggressive growth strategy. Our history and legacy on the continent and the strong foundations we have built over the years serve as a springboard for our future growth. Our brands are resonating with the aspirational and fast growing middle class in the region. Our strengthened footprint and increased distribution is driving market share and building loyalty which makes us more attractive to investors than ever before.’
The company debuted the Four Points brand in Tanzania early October with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel and is now gearing up to open the Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salam, New Africa Hotel. Earlier this year the brand debuted in Kenya with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham and is now expected to open its second hotel in Kenya, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport in the next couple of weeks.
In Egypt, the company recently re-opened Sheraton Cairo, a city icon for over four decades, after extensive renovation. It is now looking to debut its renowned luxury brand St. Regis, with the opening of the spectacular St. Regis Cairo, a highly anticipated addition to the company’s luxury portfolio in the country.
Marriott also recently opened Protea by Marriott Owerri Select in Nigeria. Other forthcoming openings over the next couple of months include Sheraton Bamako which marks the debut of Marriott International in Mali, Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine, the brand’s debut in Algeria and the Accra Marriott Hotel, the debut of the flagship Marriott Hotels brand in Ghana.
Marriott International currently has a strong footprint across the continent operating 140 hotels with close to 24,000 rooms across 12 brands.